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AFL 2019: Season Preview and Predictions

AFL 2019: Season Preview and Predictions
4 months ago 336 Views

March is here. You can feel it in the air: the taste and smell of rivalry, competition, pride, roars, cheers, boos, broken hearts, defeat, victory, history, immortality… because the AFL season is almost upon us.

But which teams will rise and fall this year? Let’s review the key protagonists - and dare to make some predictions.

RETURN OF THE OLD GUARDS?

Both Carlton and Essendon are as old as the league itself, considered founding members, with both teams winning 16 flags each in the combined VFL/AFL era. Three flags between two doyens of the game in 29 years is mediocre but that is where it is. Both teams have made potentially season-altering changes with the Blues taking the highly touted Sam Walsh at number one in the draft, while Essendon added Dylan Shiel. Could this be the year when the founding fathers make that long-awaited return?

THE USUAL SUSPECTS

Season predictions are never complete without the usual suspects. And no team has dominated the modern era more than the Hawks. But the last three years have ended in disappointment and the Hawks will be itching to set it right. Despite tallying 15 wins in the regular season, they could do no better than the Semi-finals last year. New additions such as Chan Wingard should give them extra steam.

Then there’s Richmond. No team in the AFL tallied more wins than Richmond last season (18 wins in total), but a dumbfounding loss in the first round of the Finals series left them reeling. The Tigers will be looking to recapture premiership glory and everybody else may just end up being prey.

DON’T FORGET THESE GUYS

West Coast showed up everyone last year, and not even West Coast fans saw it coming. The signs were telling, however: they’ve made the Finals series over the last four years and the team chemistry is only getting better. Could it be another year for them? They open their pre-season JFL Community Series against Geelong. Between them, these two teams have been the most consistent clubs across the AFL’s 29 years. The Cats are looking like premiership contenders again. Their ladder position (8th) may not say much, but Fox Sports’ Max Laughton’s Pythagoras system is predicting 16 wins this season, better than their last season tally of 13.

Collingwood also remains dangerous. Losing twice to one team in the finals looks very bad, but when that team is a West Coast team that beat you twice in the regular season and ended up one place ahead of you on the ladder, it looks even worse. Collingwood will be out to prove a point and perhaps exact some revenge as well.

The JFL Community Series is ongoing and the season is fast approaching. Dare to make a prediction?

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